Legal Memorandum: Immunity of Public Employees in IL

Issue: Does section 2-201 of the Illinois Tort Immunity Act gives a park district immunity for its day camp activity choices or its response to an individual’s catastrophic seizure?

Area of Law: Government Claims, Litigation & Procedure, Personal Injury & Negligence
Keywords: Public employee; Immunity for harm caused
Jurisdiction: Illinois
Cited Cases: 775 P.2d 640; 713 N.E.2d 196; 713 N.E.2d 1194; 692 N.E.2d 1177; 673 N.E.2d 1092; 116 Idaho 326; 588 N.E.2d 1104
Cited Statutes: 745 ILCS 10/2-201
Date: 09/01/2000

Illinois law provides immunity for harm caused while "a public employee [is] serving in a position involving the determination of policy or the exercise of discretion," and it excuses him or her from liability "for an injury resulting from [an] act or omission in determining policy."  745 ILCS 10/2-201 (emphasis added). In White v. Village of Homewood, 285 Ill. App. 3d 496, 673 N.E.2d 1092 (1st Dist. 1996), the court found that the fire department personnel who determined that a specific test was required to check the fitness of applicants for the position of firefighter would be excused from liability for an applicant’s injuries suffered during the test.  The court held that the administration of the test was a "discretionary" function, thus entitling the defendants to immunity.  Id., 285 Ill. App. 3d at 507, 673 N.E.2d at 1099.

In Czaplicki v. Gooding Joint Sch. Dist. No. 231, 116 Idaho 326, 775 P.2d 640 (1989), the parents of a child sued a principal and school district for their negligence in responding to their child’s medical emergency.  Their son, a kindergarten student, had collapsed after a race to the library with classmates.  A teacher’s aide who witnessed the fall shouted for the teacher to call an ambulance.  As the teacher made her way to a phone to place the call, she was interrupted by the principal, who dissuaded her.  The principal then proceeded to the library to investigate the situation.  […]

Subscribe to Litigation Pathfinder

To get the full-text of this Legal Memorandum ... and more!

(Month-to-month and annual subscriptions available)